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Articles by John Dannenberg

Ninth Circuit: Excessive Use of Force in Cell Extraction Defeats Qualified Immunity

by John E. Dannenberg

In an unpublished opinion, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court
of Appeals held that the excessive use of force in a cell extraction
violated a resisting prisoner's Eighth Amendment rights and that the guards
and their supervisors were not entitled to qualified immunity ...

California Sex-Offender Registration Requirement Held "Not Punishment"

By John E. Dannenberg

Overruling its own precedent, the California Supreme Court held that
mandatory sex offender registration does not amount to punishment, and
that a lifetime registration requirement therefore cannot be deemed
unconstitutional "cruel or unusual punishment."

Leon Alva was sentenced to 60 days in jail plus 36 months ...

Eleventh Circuit Remands ADA and Section 1983 Claims for Amended Complaint

Eleventh Circuit Remands ADA and § 1983 Claims for Amended Complaint

by John E. Dannenberg

In two similar cases, the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued orders remanding prisoner complaints of Georgia?s violations of Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA; 42 U.S.C. § 12131, et seq.) ...

California DOC Settles With PLN Over Restrictive Publications Policies: Changes Regulations, Pays Damages

by John E. Dannenberg

On December 19, 2006, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) settled with Prison Legal News (PLN) over PLN's complaints of CDCR's restrictive publications-approval policies for California state prisoners. On April 12, 2007, PLN filed the complaint in federal district court in Oakland giving the ...

U.S. Supreme Court: Failure to Exhaust Remedies Is an Affirmative Defense Under the PLRA

by John E. Dannenberg

A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held on January 22, 2007 that when a prisoner files an action governed by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), the question of whether he properly exhausted administrative remedies before filing suit is an affirmative defense; the prisoner does not have ...

California DOC Stipulates to Providing Comprehensive Dental Care Program

by John E. Dannenberg

In settlement of a federal class action lawsuit on December 15, 2005, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) agreed to provide dental care for all prisoners as set forth in a new Dental Policies and Procedures manual (?Manual?) and an Implementation Plan.
CDCR?s watershed ...

California DOC Substance-Abuse Contractor Audits Reveal $5 Million in Overcharges

by John E. Dannenberg

California?s Inspector General (IG), the state?s overseer of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), discovered $5 million in past overcharges from three substance-abuse treatment contractors, plus $258,250 in overstated expenses and chronic illegal retention of CDCR property after completion of the contracts. Corrections Secretary ...

Pennsylvania County Pays U.S. INS $16 Million for Detainee Housing Overcharges

by John E. Dannenberg

On October 25, 2006, York County, Pennsylvania agreed to pay the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) $16 million to settle a dispute over alleged overcharges for INS detainees who were housed in the York County Prison (York) between October 1999 and March 2003.

York County ...

Prisoners In 13 States Allowed Work-Access To Social Security Numbers

by John E. Dannenberg

The U.S. Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reported that prisoners in thirteen states had access to Social Security numbers (SSNs) during the course of their prison employment. Following a nationwide survey, the OIG recommended that this access be curtailed to prevent identity theft, although none ...

Sexual Victimization in Prison Statistically Analyzed

by John E. Dannenberg

The New York Academy of Medicine published a study in June 2006 on rates of sexual victimization of state prisoners. Contrasted with earlier studies that only used small population samples, this study covered all adult prisoners (22,231) in one state, encompassing its twelve male prisons and ...